Meanwhile, On TumblR: FLOTUS Obama’s Speech, bell hooks, And The Equestrian

By Andrea Plaid

Since we launched the R’s “blue light district” back in January 2012–I affectionately call the Tumblr this because I work on it from the backend, which shows up on the screen as blue–we’ve been steadily growing: right now, we have 3,379 of you hanging out over there reading, liking, reblogging, and commenting  on what we’re curating, from all-Black Shakespeare troupes to cosplayers of color to our ever-blue Racialicious After Hours (NSFW).

This week we highlight Smart Politics’ analysis of the grade level of FLOTUS Obama’s Democratic National Convention speech:

The First Lady’s speech on Tuesday evening was delivered at a grade level of 12.84 – more than 3.5 grade levels above the next highest speech of the 10 previous prepared remarks delivered by wives of presidential nominees since the first such address in 1992 by Barbara Bush.

Ms. Obama also held the previous record with her 2008 speech with a grade level of 9.28.

The speech written at the third highest grade level by such spouses was by another Democrat, Teresa Kerry in 2004, at 9.20, followed by Elizabeth Dole at #4 in 1996 (8.51), Cindy McCain at #5 in 2008 (8.38), Hillary Clinton at #6 in 1996 (8.29), Barbara Bush at #7 in 1992 (7.99), Laura Bush at #8 in 2004 (7.77), Tipper Gore at #9 in 2000 (6.63), and Laura Bush at #10 in 2000 (6.46).

At the very bottom of the list – some 7+ grade levels below the First Lady – is Ann Romney.

And bell hooks’ review of Beasts Of The Southern Wild at NewBlackMan (In Exile):

For many folks who see this film it is the mythic focus that enchants. And yet it is precisely this mythic focus that deflects attention away from egregious sub-textual narratives present in the film. Writing about the role of myth n popular media that makes use of race in his book White Lies: Race and the Myths of Whiteness critic Maurice Berger contends: “Despite the visual sophistication and supposed vigilance of a media-oriented culture …Western commentators, critics, and academics seem no to realize how duplicitous words and images can be. They simply do not understand how myths work, how myths hold us hostage to their smooth elegant fictions. The subject of race, perhaps more than any other subject in contemporary life feeds on myth…. Myth is the book, seamless narrative that tells us the contradictions and incongruities of race and racism are too confusing or too dangerous to articulate. Myths provide the elegant deceptions that reinforce our unconscious prejudices. Myths are the white lies that tell us everything is all right, even when it is not.” Deploying myth and fantasy we are shown a world in Beasts of the Southern Wild where black and white poor folks live together in utopian harmony. No race talk, no racial discourse disturbs the peace.

But, from the likes and reblogs, the R’s Tumblizens seem to be intrigued by this woman, courtesy of Vintage Black Glamour:

Equestrian rider from the late 1880s. Courtesy: Vintage Black Glamour

Check out who and what else intrigues your Racializen cohorts over at our Tumblr!




About This Blog

Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at

The founders of Racialicious are Carmen Sognonvi and Jen Chau. They are no longer with the blog. Carmen now runs Urban Martial Arts with her husband and blogs about local business. Jen can still be found at Swirl or on her personal blog. Please do not send them emails here, they are no longer affiliated with this blog.

Comments on this blog are moderated. Please read our comment moderation policy.

Use the "for:racialicious" tag in to send us tips. See here for detailed instructions.

Interested in writing for us? Check out our submissions guidelines.

Follow Us on Twitter!

Support Racialicious

The Octavia Butler Book Club

The Octavia Butler Book Club
(Click the book for the latest conversation)

Recent Comments

Feminism for Real – Jessica, Latoya, Andrea

Feminism for Real

Yes Means Yes – Latoya

Yes Means Yes

Sex Ed and Youth – Jessica

Youth and Sexual Health


Online Media Legal Network

Recent Posts

Support Racialicious

Older Archives


Written by: